Sunday, April 30, 2006

more on social bookmarking

Lisa posted earlier about, a social bookmarking website, so I thought I'd post about another social bookmarking site that I found via CultureCat (Clancy Ratliff's blog out of U of Minnesota). This program, H2O Playlist, is described by Ratliff:
H2O Playlists: This service is provided through the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and it has a progressive open-access, Creative Commons ethos. It's influenced by MIT's OpenCourseWare and other open education initiatives. If you watch this Flash movie about H2O, you'll see how strongly they're emphasizing teaching and learning. Users are required to publish their playlists with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licenses, which makes the whole site more collaborative. For example, on each playlist, there's a link that says "Create new playlist based on this one," so users can create derivative playlists with one click (and that's one way people can find each other in addition to the standard tag-surfing -- "tagging along," perhaps). Unlike most other social bookmarking tools, users can't tag one item, but rather they assemble lists of items and tag the lists. For example, I have this list on cyberfeminism. On the list, I have Faith Wilding's article "Where is Feminism in Cyberfeminism?" I can't tag that article, but the whole list has the tags feminism, gender, cyberfeminism, technofeminism, girlculture, cyberculture, women, femininity, and masculinity. Because playlists are meant to be kind of like syllabuses, H2O lets you break the lists into categories, like units or modules. (read more...)

I haven't played around with H20 Playlists much yet, but it looks like a really neat place to build forums, communities, and groups of resources. It works in quite a different way from, though. If you read Ratliff's whole post, she compares, H20, and another social bookmarking site.

Of note: if you're a fan of open source, Ratliff suggests, which runs similarly to, but is open source.

Welcome to the "Summit"

I’d like to welcome you to the “New Research Summit,” coming Friday, May 12. Your participation in this event will be important. If you did not sign up to be part of the “Summit” in person, you can still play a role; your comments on our blog will be very welcome.

I hope that together we can inaugurate an ongoing, exciting discussion among teachers and students of writing and research and the new media. I invite you in particular--if you haven't yet joined in--to begin your participation by reading, posting, and commenting on this “New Research” blog, and I invite you to continue this discussion here afterwards as well. The Summit proceedings will be available after May 12 via streaming video on our website:

Rhetoric is a discipline more than 2500 years old, a discipline that still refers back to the discoveries of its founders—Aristotle is a lively voice among us. And yet perhaps rhetoric has something to say to the new technologies, to the amazing (and sometimes dreadful) new views opening up electronically every day.

It is certain that the rapidly changing situation of knowledge must cause us to rethink what exactly we mean by “research.” Are we asking questions the same way we once did? Can rhetorical understanding help us to understand these new situations?

What about the sources we use? How can we find them? How are libraries changing?
How can we know what is “credible” when we do find something interesting? Does credibility itself matter in different ways? Is the “cool” more significant than the “credible”?

What about the researcher herself/himself? Does the heroic figure of the lonely scholar pursuing a patient inquiry--a solitary quest of discovery, perhaps, through obscure archives—provide an adequate model for the age of the laptop? Is a more collaborative idea of research beginning to affect even the humanities? If so, is this a good thing?

And what about the ways we “publish” the results of research? Much of our thinking goes on now in public, before publication—on blogs and listservs, in “grey literature,” in informal communication. And might the product of writing and research be more like a performance: a web site, a DVD, a Powerpoint presentation—and might research begin to overlap with creative works? New freedoms, and new ethical issues, are arising--and new questions about the economies of research (grades, credit, copyright, payment, open access, open sources . . .)

I'm looking forward to hearing what you will say.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Interesting information about blogging and bloggers in rhetoric and composition

Hi everyone,
A person named Donna just posted a helpful discussion of social bookmarking on my personal website, The Writing Way. She also gave me a link to a site with information on bloggers and blogging in rhetoric and composition. I thought others might like to see this.

Thanks, Donna!

Lisa Ede



Just wanted to introduce myself and my interests in the summit. My name is Darlene Hampton and I am a doctoral student at the UO working in film and cultural studies. New media and technology in teaching, the internet and digital media in reasearch, and internet culture are all areas that interest me. I have done some research on MMORPG (massive multi player online role-playing games) as well as internet fan culture and art. I think this blog is a great idea--to have a place to share ideas, sources, research, etc.

Thanks for the invite,

Darlene Hampton
Graduate Teaching Fellow
University of Oregon

Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular

Dear New Researchers:

Vectors is a peer-reviewed multimedia journal from the USC Annenberg Center for Communication. The website is

Andrew B.

From the "About Vectors" page:
"...Vectors doesn't seek to replace text; instead, we encourage a fusion of old and new media in order to foster ways of knowing and seeing that expand the rigid text-based paradigms of traditional scholarship. In so doing, we aim to explore the immersive and experiential dimensions of emerging scholarly vernaculars." (more)

From the "Editorial Statement:"
"It seems fitting that the editorial statement for a multimedia journal should itself be enacted in a dynamic form. Yet text continues in many ways to provide us with the means for our clearest form of expression. Thus, we commend this editorial statement to you as a hybrid introduction and metaphor for beginning to experience some of the ideas and pathways that weave their way throughout Vectors. This editorial "statement" attempts in part to represent the multiple collaborations and conflicts that take place in interactive and computational media, highlighting not only the virtual dialogue between creator and producer, but also the tenuous alliance of human and machine intelligence.

One of the primary and ongoing tensions in an academic multimedia journal is the question of how to deal with text. This is not a new question nor is it one that is peculiar to electronic publishing...." (more)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fandom and Vernacular Knowledge Production

Hello all,

I just wanted to say that I really like that the research summit is accompanied by this blog because it adds a level of self-reflexivity to our discussions of new media, information technologies, etc. It seems very easy, especially within the confines of a conference or "summit," to lose awareness of the fact that we are all academics actively creating our own discourse community and participating in a form of knowledge work when we talk about the formation of online communities and the changes that information technology bring to the idea of knowledge. But hopefully the act of blogging these ideas will carry with it a sense that, in some ways, academics all now have competition, that the work of collecting, organizing, archiving, interpreting, and generating information is now widely dispersed beyond academia. This is particularly important as a student of film studies because, to me, one of the more interesting sites of online community formation is fan culture, and I am especially interested in issues of knowledge production and new media within fandom. But, following the work of Matt Hills in his book Fan Cultures, I try to be aware of the fact that the work I do is not that dissimilar to the work of various film fans: analyzing and gathering information about films and then presenting said information in a format appropriate to my particular community. Hills wants to recognize these similarities and look at fan cultures as alternative sites of knowledge production, hopefully avoiding the condescension involved when academics study fan cultures and in the process construct fan interpretation as the opposite of serious, academic interpretation. This perspective, it seems, is appropriate across academia as information technology vastly multiplies the kinds of vernacular knowledge production and community building inherent in online fandom. As many of the posts thus far point out, the question before us is how we as a academics and teachers situate ourselves in relationship to this emerging form of knowledge production without dismissing it as banal simply to affirm our own academic subjectivity (and economic positions within the university). Hopefully this blog and the summit can help with this question.

Digital Humanities Quarterly

There is a new online journal entitled the _Digital Humanities Quarterly_ that might turn out to be of interest to this group. I don't think that anyone else in this group has mentioned it yet. If someone has, my apologies for missing it.

DHQ's web site is at

They are billing themselves as a community experiment in journal publication, with a commitment to:
  • experimenting with publication formats and the rhetoric of digital authoring
  • co-publishing articles with Literary and Linguistic Computing (a well-established print digital humanities journal) in ways that straddle the print/digital divide
  • using open standards to deliver journal content
  • developing translation services and multilingual reviewing in keeping with the strongly international character of ADHO (Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations)
This is what they say in their call for submissions:

We welcome material on all aspects of digital media in the humanities, including humanities computing, new media, digital libraries, game studies, digital editing, pedagogy, hypertext and hypermedia, computational linguistics, markup theory, and related fields. In particular, we are interested in submissions in the following categories:
  • Articles representing original research in digital humanities
  • Editorials and opinion pieces on any aspect of digital humanities
  • Reviews of web resources, books, software tools, digital publications, and other relevant materials
  • Interactive media works including digital art, hypertext literature, criticism, and interactive experiments. A separate call
    for submissions is also being issued for this area.
Submissions in all categories may be in traditional formats, or may be formally experimental. We welcome submissions that experiment with the rhetoric of the digital medium.

It remains to be seen if this publication proves to be of any interest. But you might want to track on it (add it to your bookmarks, etc.)


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Building an OSU Wiki as a class activity

In March 2006, I asked Oregon State University's Central Web Services to create an OSU Wiki. I think students have lots of wisdom about OSU and Corvallis, so I wanted a place where students could coorperatively post ideas and share insights.

This term (Spring 2006) I am teaching four sections of BA271, Information Technology in Business with 190 students total. I decided to ask my BA271 students flesh out initial content for the OSU Wiki.

I've found students know little about wikis or how to edit and work collaboratively on-line. So I wrote a series of exercises and explanations about what to do. You can find this material in the Wiki Activities portion of the BA271 website.

So far this experiment seems to be going well. Students have created their "Wiki Plans"; that is, a description of the articles and contributions they plan on making to the OSU Wiki, and they are well underway with implementing their plans.

It is too soon to know whether the OSU Wiki will be of lasting value, but I feel confident my students will learn a lot about writing and working coopertively regardless of how successful the OSU Wiki becomes.

I'm interested in working with other people to promote the use of wikis -- both with respect to student instruction and for capturing university knowledge in general. So if anyone would like to work with me, I can be reached at

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


"A series of eight discussions hosted by the Library of Congress' John W. Kluge Center, which examine how the digital age is changing the most basic ways information is organized and classified."

I listened to these talks when they first came out last year and was impressed by their insights. Videos of the talks are now archived at C-SPAN (URL below).

After listening to the eight discussions, three of them struck me as more relevant than the others to the goals of The New Research Summit:
David Weinberger's discussion of blogging, Brewster Kahle's "Universal Access to Knowledge," and David M. Levy's "Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age."

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: . “Our institutions of higher learning might become places where digital natives come to mature.”

The following is drawn from the ECAR Study of Students and Information Technology, 2005: Convenience, Connection, Control, and Learning (ID: ERS0506))

Tendencies: a hypothesis (The study draws from 18,000 students surveyed)

1. “Our institutions of higher learning might become places where digital natives come to mature. Such a suggestion should not be considered preposterous, since young adults come to us for many other aspects of their social and intellectual development. Viewed in a context that includes findings of the Pew study of teenagers and the Internet, it is tempting to surmise that freshman students arrive at our institutions with a set of electronic core skills. . . Despite these skills, the freshmen in our survey express a lower interest in technology in their course activity and report lower skill levels in course-related technologies. One is tempted to conclude that these young people can make technology work but cannot place these technologies in the service of (academic) work.”

2. “A second thread . . . is the hypothetical birth of the media generation. . . . What did change [between 2004 and 2005] was the number of respondents claiming knowledge of presentation software, along with knowledge of software for creating or editing video/audio and Web sites.

Key Findings:
1. Information technology in the higher education experience adds convenience, connection, and control for students.
2. Students believe that IT in courses enhances their learning.
3. Ownership levels of laptop computers and cell phones among surveyed students rose from 2004.
4. While nearly half (49%) of students surveyed in 2004 obtained broadband access through the university, 39.8 percent of those surveyed did so in 2005.
5. The curriculum continues to be a prime motivator of student IT skill acquisition.
6. The percentage of students using media-intensive applications rose in 2005, although reported skill levels in these applications remained unchanged.
7. Surveyed students continue to prefer a ‘moderate’ amount of IT in their course experience.
8. Students appear to like course management systems.

Students arrive with good IT skills, gained largely outside their courses. They need little further training in the use of IT. That is, in the use of technology. The use of information is another matter. This survey found “a significant need for further training in the use of IT in support of learning and problem-solving skills.”

Students expect:
—tech and online resources readily available
--Fast response time
--Tech, services, resources available anytime and anywhere
--converged devices
--Networds and tech support available at all times
--Mobile electronic connections
--Multiple devices and media that are personal, customizable, and portable
--always neworked for communications
--Members of their communities reachable anywhere and anytime
--Social—work in teams
--Focused on grades and performance
--Manage the undergraduate experience
--Control the when and where of social interaction
--Rich media and visual imagery, including the ability to integrate virtual and physical
--Inductive discovery—experiential and participatory
--Real-time engagement

“Students see IT in courses not as transformational but rather as supplemental. Students prefer face-to-face interaction with their instructors and with other students.”

• Students prefer traditional classroom encounters and so do faculty.
• At Berkeley,” only 16 % of students were willing to watch lecture Webcasts entirely online instead of going to the lecture hall, and 84 % of the students indicated that they preferred to attend the fact-to-face encounters.”
• Younger students like IT in their classes LESS than older students.
IT and CMS (at the UO, Blackboard) improve communications most of all, between faculty and students, and between students

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Additional Links & Resources


NITLE is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting liberal education. We provide opportunities for teachers in liberal arts contexts to create transformative learning experiences for and with their students by deploying emerging technologies in innovative, effective, and sustainable ways.

(formerly the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative, or NLII)
[check out the current poll about comfort levels with emerging technologies, including blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, and "Interacting in immersive virtual environments (e.g., Second Life)"]

New Media Centers Consortium . NMC’s mission is to advocate and stimulate the use of new learning and creative technologies in higher education; to demonstrate a true passion for learning and creative expression; to seek and build collaborations and partnerships that extend its work; and to understand and meet the needs of its members as it does so. [The UO is an NMC member institution]

other blogs, articles, & miscellany:

Gardner Campbell's Blog. Gardner teaches literature and film at the University of Mary Washington, where he's also Asst. VP for Teaching and Learning Technologies.

Technology as a liberal art (Inside Higher Ed article by Laura Blankenship, Senior Instructional Technologist at Bryn Mawr College).

Use and Users of Digital Resources: A Focus on Undergraduate Education in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Introduction: Andrew Bonamici

My name is Andrew Bonamici, Associate University Librarian for Instructional Services. We reorganized the library in 2002 and created the Instructional Services Division to foster integration of media and educational technology programs with so-called traditional library services. My area of responsibility includes reference departments, branch libraries, library instruction, student computer labs, faculty technology consulting and Blackboard management, interactive media development, video production, and campus classroom equipment support. All of these services require close partnership with each other and with academic and technology support units beyond the library, so making connections and assembling teams is a big part of my job.

The topics addressed by “The New Research” conference are directly relevant to my interest in development of UO courses that take full advantage of our tremendous investments in network technologies, communication systems, library collections and services (including digital content), and professional staff expertise. The latter is critical, as no one individual can have all of the skills needed to create and sustain courses with substantial digital/network-enabled components. A flexible and collaborative team approach is essential. For faculty, this degree of partnership in the course development process may be a dramatic departure from the status quo; however, the process holds many rewards and learning opportunities for the participants as well as for the intended student audience.

Many thanks to the New Research planning committee for creating this opportunity. I look forward to the conversation.

p.s. feel free to visit my blog for links and comments on other issues that may be of interest to this group.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Introduction and my Second Life

Hi all,
I am currently teaching a course on "New Media and Digital Culture" (ENG 481/581) at the University of Oregon. As part of the course we are participating in "Second Life," an online immersive environment owned by the company Linden Labs. Linden Labs has provided us with a piece of virtual land within SL to hold classes, have office hours, engage in conversations, etc. We have also created a "group" within SL called "Ducks & Digiculture." The group is open and you should feel free to sign up for an SL account (basic accounts are free), create your own avatar and request membership in our group.

Here are some links to get started:

Wikipedia entry for Second Life (SL):

Second Life:

Second Life community standards:

More on social bookmarking

Hi, everyone. I have an extensive site and find it very useful, from a number of standpoints.

1) It allows me to collect articles and sites that I want to get back to but I don't have time to delve into at that moment. So, when I get notices on email about different things, I use this site as a way of bookmarking useful content and clearing out my email.

2) Using tags (in library terms these work just like subject headings) allows me to find these sites and articles again - which gets very important when you have collected as many bookmarks as I have - currently at page 25 or 26.

3) The folksonomy part of it is fascinating - you can get linked into other people's sites by the fact that they've bookmarked it. It's fascinating to go to someone else's site and see what else they've bookmarked. It's very easy to get sucked into this alternate reality, though and, before you know it, you've lost a half hour just following other people's links.

4) This site is available round the world - it's a great way to be able to find your stuff from wherevere you are. You can log into an internet cafe anywhere in the world and have your own personal bookmarks back again.

There are two things I don't like about

1) I'd like to be able to rearrange my bookmarks so that ones I considered more important could always be at the top, rather than being stuck with the latest post always appearing at the top.

2) I'd like a way to contact some of these other people. I spent some time one day trying to find a way to make a connection and I didn't find a way. That lessens the value of this from a folksonomy point of view, in my opinion. What's the point of discovering a community and then not being able to make any contact with the other members of it? (If anyone else has figured this out, please let me know)

If you want to know more about folksonomies, check out the entry in the Wikipedia:

Carol Hixson

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Print Resources for Teaching New Media

Print Resources for Teaching New Media

Another useful tool for teaching Composition students about online discourse communities and New Media are good, old-fashioned books! I typically assign my Writing students at least a couple of readings about the web as a medium, including Marshall McLuhan's famous essay, "The Medium is the Message," and I have also found some good essays in the excellent anthology The New Media Book edited by Dan Harries. I will present on this topic at greater length at the May 12 Summit, but in the meanwhile I welcome input from you about good articles (be they printed or electronic) that can be used for teaching undergraduates about new media concepts.

Information Literacy as a Liberal Art

Here's an article forwarded by Carol Hixson that argues for considering information within a liberal arts framework. The article would be dated (1996) from an IT perspective, but in the long view of the humanities, it's quite current.

Information Literacy as a Liberal Art

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Charlie Lowe's blog

Here's another very interesting blog with lots of links. It's Charlie Lowe's blog site.

Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking seems to be an increasingly important phenomenon on the Web. I have read some information about it and know that it holds the potential to allow users to create "folksonomies," which are distinguished from the kinds of taxonomies that are typically created by experts, and not by ordinary folks.

I have visited a major social bookmarking site:

But I haven't been able to really understand how this site works or how it would benefit me. If anyone involved with the New Research Summit has information about this, and time to share it, I'd appreciate it.

Lisa Ede

A blog site you might be interested in checking out

Hello everyone,
This is Lisa Ede from Oregon State University. Michael Faris and I are very excited to be part of this new research summit. I've enjoyed reading the posts so far, and I'm hoping to add some comments, and possibly also new posts, soon.

For now, I thought you might like to know about a very interesting blog hosted by Clancy Ratcliff, a Ph.D. students in the Rhetoric department at the University of Minnesota.

Here's the URL for her blog, Culture Cat:


Monday, April 10, 2006

From Michael Aronson: A sighting of interesting new media

This is a "talk show" about new media issues produced inside Halo 2, a live online wargame environment. I've sent the quicktime links to the first episode, which explains the set up, and the newest interview, with Malcolm McLaren.

Michael Aronson
Dept. of English
University of Oregon

Useful website sources of new media and discussions of uses for each

Here is a a link to a collection of case studies I've written for using new media to teach writing. Mainly I have included delineations of useful website sources of new media:

Kom Kunyosying

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Suzanne Clark and the New Research

I didn’t really begin the “New Research” project with technology. I began with a very traditional kind of inquiry: David Frank (UO Robert D. Clark Honors College) and I were writing a book, and we were doing research on Robert D. Clark in the UO archives. We decided to offer a research class on the wonderful material we were finding, traditional enough in concept—except that it has not been so usual to have undergraduates conduct archival research.

Our classes prompted students to research the sixties at the University of Oregon—student protest, institutional change, and Civil Rights. Together with our students, we found over a thousand documents that were scanned online for all to use. (See This was starting to be a collaborative-looking effort.

At the suggestions of UO librarian Carol Hixon (Head, Metadata and Digital Services), the records of some of those archives were put on the library’s Digital Collections site (
And when the student papers were finished, we published them in the UO “Scholar’s Bank,” where Google sends the curious from all over the world to look at them. ( This is a publication process that students as well as faculty at the University of Oregon can use to make significant scholarship widely available. The technology afforded by Blackboard, the web site, Digital Collections, and Scholar’s Bank had widened the impact of our book project into a whole community. The digital revolution had come for us without our even knowing enough about the technology to have it be part of what we were teaching. We had to rely on the resources of others, but it worked.

One of the students, Sarah Koski, said to me: “We don’t need for you to teach us the new technologies; we need for you to teach us the old stuff: how to make a good argument.” I liked hearing that.

What we know about rhetoric—what we learned from Aristotle and Burke and Perlman—is still fundamental to the new situation of research. Nevertheless, there are obvious ways that the new technologies—in which I am barely competent—might not only enhance but even transform the “old stuff.” There are new opportunities for creativity and invention. And there are, we suspect, ways that new technologies and new media are introducing problems for traditional knowledge that ought to concern us—the proliferating interest in the question of “credibility” is suggestive.

What has changed about writing and research? What are the new problems? New opportunities?

Those questions prompted me to apply for an Instructional Technology Fellowship to explore what I was beginning to call “The New Research.”

The first thing I realized—that I had only vaguely thought about before—is that the new research is not about a lone scholar with a pile of books and/or a computer figuring out a new argument. It’s a moment when professors give up on the lone expert model of teaching as well, since no one knows everything and we all could use some help. In other words, the new research goes back to the old understanding of invention. Inventing an argument does not mean making it up; it’s a process that requires a discourse community.

The new research is intensely collaborative.

Perhaps Michael Bérubé, or Lisa Ede (coming as our keynote speaker), provide new models of the humanities scholar; their blogs are a kind of open door to the office even while work is in progress. (See and

I rapidly changed my course from the lone scholar model to consult with the English Department graduate students that I am calling the “New Media Group”—Raphael Raphael, Carter Soles, and Kom Kunyosying. We held a meeting—written thoughts sent simultaneously over laptops--with about 50 freshmen students of WR 121 to ask them how research overlapped with technology for them, and what they wished we would teach. (Results of that discussion will be posted soon). We decided to have a meeting of our local great minds, called the “New Research Summit.” That is what will happen May 12. We decided to have a web site and a blog leading up to our meeting, where all those attending could read and discuss before we came together. We got help from John Gage and Nicole Malkin (the Center for Teaching Writing). Thanks to Raphael (the web site) and Kom (the blog), you are now joining our collaboration.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

General/ Miscellaneous Thread

Please write in the comments section of this post any resources or ideas you would like to share that are not in response to any particular post.

If you would like to post something in its own post, please email to request to join this blog community, or send the material you would like to post to and we will post it for you (please include your name and other contact info you would like to publicize).

Interacting with filters -- evolving from the pro-anorexia approach

Evolving from the proanorexia approach to less ethically problematic interactions with web-communities, filters in particular:

To read handout follow this link:

Follow-up from handout:

In analyzing the shared assumptions of the participants of the filter, my students identified sub-categories within the participant group. Henceforth the students called these sub-categories "filter factions."

Students named the first filter faction the "id group." Members of this group usually post something violent or sexually explicit and/or disgusting regardless of the piece of media they are responding to. Sometimes id group members would post semi-seriously if a political debate started -- this allowed them to do some flag-waving and foreigner-bashing.

Some of the shared assumptions students have identified in the id group:
Breasts are good. Women who don't look like porn stars are ugly. French should be killed. Canadians are bad. Mexicans are bad. People of color are bad and whiny. We are not gay. We must flame you unmercifully if you imply we are gay. Strangers to the group are bad and stupid (and deserve threats of violence).

The second filter faction the students called the "conservatives."

Shared assumptions students identified in the conservatives were: French are bad and cowardly. The US should bomb France/Iraq/North Korea. Foreigners are jealous of the US. The UN is trying to run the US. People of color complain too much. Soldiers are brave. Patriotism is good. George Bush is a good president. People who criticize America deserve to be insulted as harshly as possible. The war in Iraq is good.

The third filter faction was called "the mainstream."

Shared assumptions seen in "the mainstream" included: French are bad. The war in Iraq is problematic. Feminism is bad but women should be treated equally. People of color should be treated equally but should not complain too much. Canadians are okay.

The last group was called "foreigners/liberals."

Assumptions students identified included: French are good. Canadians are good. The war in Iraq is bad. President Bush is stupid. Religion is bad. Too much porn on the site is bad. Feminism is good. People of color are good.

Kom Kunyosying

A semi-retired exercise in a pro-anorexia web community

(some names and wordings have been changed and avatars removed to protect the anonymity of the already anonymous if that makes sense)

Kom Kunyosying

Forum handout: Using Blog Communities in Writing 121, 122, and 123

Last year I had my Writing 121 and 122 classes deduct the shared assumption(s) a blog's (web log’s) discourse community operates under, and then write a posting using those assumptions. I've had the most success applying this technique to a livejournal community called “proanorexia” because of how starkly that community's assumptions stand out.

To facilitate experiments such as with the proanorexia livejournal, I have "ethically ambiguous Thursdays," where every third Thursday we are only ethically and morally obligated to other members of our class and not to anyone else on the internet.

Defining Blogs:

The simplest and for now the most up-to-date definition of a blog, given in Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs is a website that is updated frequently. These websites can be devoted to one topic or reflect multiple interests. It is the blog’s form that characterizes it, not it’s function. Posts are time-stamped with the most recent post at the top.

Implementing an experiment with a blog community in the classroom:

What follows is an example of an initial posting and response series I might examine after allowing students to familiarize themselves with the livejournal proanorexia blog on their own:

Cast of Characters:

izdlasizcasi: a somewhat regular, though relatively new visitor to the blog who feels like she must have been very fat to have been able to have lost 20 pounds

czlre2010: a regular of the community posting a typical and supportive comment

regardzless001: a non-member of the community posting her response to izdlasizcasi’s post. She is abrasive and does not understand this discourse community. In the blog world, such posters are sometimes refered to as trolls.

fzingersadhere: a thoughtful regular to the community who responds genuinely to regardless001 in what is the beginning of a discussion in which regardless001 will eventually fail to relate to what the proanorexia blog community is about.

The excerpt from the proanorexia blog community starts with a post from izdlasizcasi:

izdlasizcasi ([info]izdlasizcasi) wrote in [info]proanorexia,
@ 2004-09-15 00:27:00

Previous Entry Add to memories! Next Entry

Current mood:

disgusted. frustrated

i weighed b in again tonight.

i don't know whether to be pleased or disgusted.

down 20lbs in 3 weeks.

god.... how DISGUSTING is that....

(Post a new comment)

2004-09-15 04:30 (link)

Hey i know this is weird but do u have an sn? screen name on msn yahoo or aim? and 20 lbs in 3 weeks i awesome!! keep up the good work

(Reply to this)

2004-09-15 04:43 (link)

When someone restricts food from one's body, it sometimes enters something called "a starvation mode". When this happens, the body actually stores even more fat, because, well, it needs to. Now you have a little mechanism in your brain that tells your body you need to eat. If you go on fasts to lose weight, 95% of the time, you would probably gain all your weight back, and even more, because the body is thinking "food, haven't had this in a while! just incase i have another fast, i need to store up on this!"... A lot of fat people put themselves on diets that end up making them fatter because of this... in fact, lots of overweight people are actually failed anorexics/bulimics...Your body has an equilibrium of sorts... If you try to push it one way, its only natural for it to push you the opposite way. The healthiest thing is to make lifestyle changes to get to your body's ideal weight/shape. Eat healthy foods (unprocessed, non-junk food), go biking, running, do sports....

I'm obviously not from this community. And I do believe that this is an uneducated, and harmful thing to have on the internet. I'm only speaking out of concern, and hope you learn to take care of your body properly, because its the only one you have and breaking it, restricting what it needs, will hurt you.
If you go beyond what your body can handle, you are not doing so out of self-love, you are punishing yourself. It's just like parenting, if you punish a child too much, he'll only become a) more badass, or b) suicidal and self-loathing...

The key to everything is moderation, and consistency.

(Reply to this) (Thread)

2004-09-15 05:18 (link)

Research eating disorders, it's pretty well known people with ED's are incredibly informed about their disorder, I also promise we know about starvation mode.

On top of that, after three days of "starvation" mode, the body goes into ketosis if done "right" and starts burning fat, and less muscle (admittedly the first three days it's eating muscle) yeah, You make valid points, but you're informing the educated, if you want to ask about metabolism, starvation mode, healthy dieting, unhealthy dieting, ED people are very well informed, We just have perceptions, choices, bodies, that don't work in the fashion that's "healthy" soooooo, feel free to educate, as long as you don't insult, but odds are you aren't telling anyone things they don't already know around here.

(Reply to this) (Parent) (Thread)

End of Excerpt 1.

Class activities at this point include:

Brainstorming in class about assumptions:

Regardless001’s possible enthymeme:

People who are hurting themselves must stop hurting themselves because it doesn’t make sense.


People can stop hurting themselves if they want to.

The Assumptions of the Blog community:

People who are hurting themselves need support. People who are hurting themselves should hurt themselves as little as possible if they can’t stop. People who are in that situation need a community where they are not attacked.

My students write there own post and see if they can do a better job than regardless001 at writing within the assumptions of the discourse community.

We respond to a comment by izm1disturbed1 and ask her to post it to the entire community for us. First is our post (which I have italicized in reprinting it) followed by her response. Admittedly our post is not perfectly healthy or safe, but my students realized it was not. The main goal was to see if we could outdo Regardzless001 in understanding the shared assumptions of the community. The ethics of our decision to post was still up for discussion in our class after we did so and generated considerable debate.:

Excerpt from proanorexia community begins again. The post (immediately below and in italics) was written and submitted by my class to a forum member who believed we were a real person and posted it for us and responded to us:

im1disturbed1 ([info]izm1disturbed1) wrote in [info]proanorexia,
@ 2004-03-18 21:01:00

Previous Entry Add to memories! Next Entry

Current mood:


Exercising more?
hey girls, I’ve been trying something different but it’s making me feel really fat. I’ve been having a really hard time restricting and I don’t want to go to mia. So I’m actually taking in 1000 calories a day and exercising more. I run every morning for one hour, not too fast but until my pedometer says 400 calroies and am on the field hockey team. I’ve actually been able to go down in weight, but really slowly – like half a pound a week. I don’t feel as in control as when I was restricting. But it was really hard. I almost went to mia because I couldn’t restrict. Do I even belong here? Do you think I’m a complete wuss and pig? I have to say it feels so good to eat a kind of normal breakfast after my run.

(Post a new comment)

(Screened Post)

to the the unknown person
2004-03-18 20:16 (link)

sweet, i luv breakfast, and alwayz feel full thru the whole day when i eat it....maybe ill try that, eating more 4 breakfast and then restricting 2 water 4 the rest of the day. after im done my fast, thats the new plan

Becasue of ur hardcore working out you really do need some food... ummm... I don't know what else to tell ya cuz I'm mostly a newbie too... e-mail if you want if you have questions I can't answer I'll just forward them to ppl I know that can! Hoped this helped a lil! Good luck and much love! (Yes this is the right community for u I think)

(Reply to this) (Parent)

End of second excerpt.

Kom Kunyosying

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The New Research Summit 2006 is coming.

The New Research Summit 2006 is coming.

We’re talking about teaching writing and research in the era of new media and technology.

This is the beginning of a conversation that will continue at the University of Oregon.

We have set aside Friday, May 12, 10-2, for our face-to-face meeting and lunch. There will be no charge for attendance and lunch will be provided.

On our way to that date, this blog will have resources, links, and ideas, and be available for your comments about how web sites, blogs, wikis, Google,, streaming video, podcasts, and the rest of technology do, could, or should affect our teaching of research writing.

The Planning Committee:

We are: Suzanne Clark (English) and Carol Hixson (Library), Instructional Technology Fellows for 2005-2006; The Center for the Teaching of Writing (John Gage, Director and Nicole Malkin, Adm. Assistant); the New Media and Writing Group (Raphael Raphael, Carter Soles, and Kom Kunyosying).

As participants, you are speakers, bloggers, and discussants, professors, librarians, graduate students, and students.

Our May 12 speakers include:: James Crosswhite, English; Carol Hixson and Heather Briston, UO Library; Carter Soles and Kom Kunyosying, English; A panel chaired by Raphael Raphael and including John Gage and Michael Aronson, English; Mary Fechner, Research Office; Jeff Magoto, Yamada Language Center; and our keynote speaker, Lisa Ede, from Oregon State University English Department, with Michael Faris, OSU.

You can apply to participate in this NR Summit by giving your application to Michael Stamm in the UO English Department, or to any of the Planning Committee members, or by submitting it to Nicole Malkin The deadline is April 14, 2006.

Here is the application:

Anyone may leave a comment (a comment is a response to a post) regarding any of the material posted in this blog. You may also post resources in the comment section of a post created specifically for that purpose in the blog (the fourth post labeled General/ Miscellaneous Thread). Please include your name and other information you would like to share if you do not wish to be anonymous.

If you would like to post something in its own post, please email to request to join this blog community, or send the material you would like to post to and we will post it for you (please include your name and other contact info you would like to publicize).

Also, once you are accepted to the New Research Summit, you will be invited to join the blog community. Your invitation will provide you with a link to, where you can sign up (quickly and for free). Then you will be able to add posts to the blog as well as comments. If you choose not to join the blog community, please continue to leave comments and send anything you would like posted to: .